TOWN EXTEND LEAD
On a sundrenched summer's evening at City Calling Stadium Longford Town extended their lead to nine valuable points. With many locals making silage, De Town made hay while the sun shone brightly. They also started very brightly and were three up before half an hour. Willie Tyrell got on the scoresheet for his and the Town's first goal after just 8 minutes. Seeing someone else score must have spurred on David O Sullivan because just three minutes elapsed before Sully scored a superb goal lobbing the Wexford Youths' keeper after receiving a long pass. And just to highlight his incredible prowess, he struck again after good work by Mark Salmon. Three up and the clock still hadn't hit the half hour mark. It looked like the Wexford boys were going to be “barbequed” on a hot summer's night in Longford. Former Town favourites Sean Prunty and Alan Kirby who were in attendance were very impressed with the dazzling display of skill on show.
However as the second half wore on, it appeared that the hosts tired and at times Wexford put some passing moves together but still failed to really threaten the three goal solid lead. They did find the back of the net from a well struck free kick (much to the feigned delight of their small following). The Town had plenty of chances to extend their lead but like on many occasions in other matches we were denied a perfectly legitimate penalty. But with news of Finn Harps ' defeat filtering through, all left a still bright City Calling Stadium in jubilant mood. Long may it last.
This week end we make the short trip to Athlone to play an Athlone team riding high . They defeated Finn Harps last week end which will have done their confidence a world of good. But we're doing pretty well ourselves so it all promises to be a cracking encounter and a perfect way to finish off half of the season. The Supporters' Club won't be running a bus but Section O promise to have transport available. Roddy Collins is a master at mind games but this game should prove to be a real cracker on the field of play. If Bluebell Utd can beat them at home, why can't we.
The international team are going through a good patch of late and they're certainly not short of Longford Town support. A sizeable crowd were present in Wembley to see the draw over there and even more headed to the Aviva to see the Keane Show against the Faroe Islands. Some Town supporters were in awe as they spotted one of their own whizz past all sorts of security checks to park in the Berkely Court. To smile your way past one Garda is fair enough but to charm two in a row deserves at least a gold medal at the end of season awards ceremony !
A few years ago when the Irish team were on top of the world, you'd wonder what sort of golden existence they might live. Well last week the answer was they are all quite ordinary with similar concerns to the rest of us mere mortals. Packie Bonner's principal concern was the health of his seriously ill niece, who thankfully has found a place recently in Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. It emerged too that Damien Duff doesn't watch too much footie on TV as he doesn't even have Sky, saying it was too dear. His son Woody had a hole in the heart but what really thrills Duffer is that following surgery, Woody made a complete recovery. And what are his future hopes? To finish his playing career in the League of Ireland. Hint for Tony Cousinsfor next season ? And then to show just how human and humble these former supermen are was clearly displayed after the game in D' Aviva when Ray Houghton and Ronnie posed for photos with every single fan who asked.
Last Tuesday night we played St Pats in Richmond Park on an absolutely roasting night. The pitch was as smooth as a billiard table and with a dazzling blue sky and the temperature in the 20s, the whole evening had a genuine continental feel to it. The local staff are among the most helpful and friendly in either league which added to the travellers' enjoyment of the occasion. But it was on the pitch where we really shone and despite playing without Sully, De Town earned many new admirers as we forced extra time. It probably was the last thing Tony Cousins wanted but it certainly exorcised the ghost of the Drogheda drubbing. In the end the hosts won 2-o which was slightly flattering. However there was no contest when it came to the supporters. Section O sang and chanted their merry little hearts out during every minute of the game and when the extra time started, so too did Section O. In singing support, De Town won 6-0.
The latest Supporters' Club to be established is none other than the Oireachtas Ireland Football Supporters' Club. It was set up by Donegal Labour Senator Jimmy Harte. Last week they had a high profile visit from Giovanni Trapattoni and John Delaney. Both men spent a lot of time chatting and signing autographs before having a private meeting with the newly formed Supporters' Club. Besides discussing the fortunes of the national team, the group also discussed the importance of developing football at local level in communities throughout Ireland. Before departing the FAI had a photo of the politicians and the FAI top brass. There was no Longford representative present.
Plans are well advanced to extend City Calling Stadium which will be welcome news to all lovers of the beautiful game locally. It's now hoped that a new pitch as well as an all weather training pitch along with proper facilities will soon move from drawing board to building site. With two cranes towering over the town of Longford, it looks like Longford Town will provide an other welcome building site. Now, wouldn't that be be some sight.